Well ... ain't that a kick in the pants. Turns out the man Putin wants to succeed him is the guy we were all talking about a year ago. All these machinations, promotions of Ivanov, analysts timing the minutes Medvedev and Ivanov appear on television, and other speculations were merely to throw us off the scent.
Dmitry Medvedev is the man.
So what does this mean? I very much doubt it will affect any change in the direction of Russia, Inc. In fact, Medvedev's strong business experience and persona lend itself to Russia as the emerging corporate state, a nation that is run like a business. Most analysts tend to cast Medvedev as a liberal - I think this is a mistake. He simply isn't the sort of Russian man who shoots his mouth off to show what a real man he truly is. He's another sort. I also disagree with analysts such as Yevgeny Volk of the Heritage Foundation, who says
"The choice of Medvedev...reflects Putin's desire to have the most obedient figure. Putin views Medvedev as a subordinate on whose loyalty he can count."Putin has no need for a trained dog. Subordinate seems like an inappropriate word here. Trust in politics is a fleeting thing. It seems unlikely that Medvedev will conduct his business any differently now than he has in the past. And business would seem to be the most appropriate word - this will be business as usual for Russia, Inc.
But, alas, I am afraid the days of juicy quotes like they should keep their booger-noses out of our business or You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you by your special place or He raped 10 women. I never expected it from him. He surprised all of us. We envy him or We’ll follow terrorists everywhere. We will corner the bandits in the toilet and wipe them out. Medvedev won't lend himself to the easy, knee-jerk, "He's a fascist" kind of blogging. He doesn't appear to be so vain as to appear shirtless for photos while fishing with some prince. He is unlikely to kiss children on the belly.
In short, the man is a professional.
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